Italian and French glory in the 25 km
Hoorn (LEN) – Both reigning champions from Berlin, Axel Reymond (France) and Martina Grimaldi (Italy) retained their respective titles in the 25km on the final day at the European Open Water Swimming Championships, in front of the beautiful scenery of the historic part of Hoorn.
While the Frenchman arrived lonely to the finish and hit the touchpad after 5:02:22.0 hours, 3:45.5 minutes ahead of the field, the Italian ‘Open Water Lady’ had to fight till the end. After 5:26:47.8 hours she could finish first by just two seconds ahead of the Russian Olga Kozydub.
In the men’s event a pack of seven competitors swam together for 17.5 km and none of them wished to go in front. “At the feeding pontoon my coach said, as nobody wished to go in front, that it was my turn so I increased my speed”, Axel Reymond stated after the race. Following his coaches advise he built a massive one-minute advantage. “But it was no easier to swim alone”, he added, still, the gap between him and the others just grew so Reymond won by the largest margin since the 2002 edition in Berlin.
Italy had the minor spoils, the silver went to Matteo Furlan (Italy) who finished in 5:06:07.5 hours, also gaining a lot on his compatriot Edoardo Stochino who was third in 5:09:19.4 hours.
While the men’s medallists swam more or less lonely over the last three laps, the ladies staged a tremendous fight with five of them battling almost all the way till the end. The pack was still together while reaching last buoy and the old harbour saw them crossing the finish line in a span of 10 seconds after 25 thousands metres.
At the end Martina Grimaldi could repeat her triumph from 2014, she was followed by Olga Kozydub and the French newcomer Caroline Jouisse (5:26:50.5), securing five of the six medals on offer on the last day for Italy and France. Italy finished atop in overall, ahead of the Brits and the Netherlands.
- Axel Reymond (Fance) – 5:02:22,0 h
- Matteo Furlan (Italy) – 5:06:07.5 h
- Edoardo Stochino (Italy) – 5:09:19.4
- Martina Grimaldi (Italy) – 5:26:47.8 h
- Olga Kozydub (Russian) – 5:26:49.8 h
- Carolien Jouise (France) – 5:26:50,5 h
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Press release from LEN, photos courtesy of G. Perottino / Deepbluemedia